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Mike Feuer mailer tries to avoid voter confusion over two Smiths

Name identification can mean a lot in political contests, so it’s understandable that Mike Feuer’s campaign seems concerned about possible voter confusion over the similar monikers of one of his endorsers and one of his opponents.

Former lawmaker Feuer, one of four candidates for Los Angeles city attorney in the March 5  primary,   is endorsed by former City Councilman Greig Smith, who represented parts of the San Fernando Valley.

Then there’s Greg Smith, a private attorney who is largely bankrolling his first bid for elected office in vying for the same post Feuer is seeking.

So Feuer’s campaign recently sent out a mailer asking “Will the real Greig Smith please stand up?” It features side-by-side photos of the two Smiths and a letter from the former councilman that minces no words.

“I am definitely NOT running for city attorney,” it says. “And I am definitely NOT voting for the guy who shares my name.

"So don’t vote for Greg Smith!"

The letter continues by praising Feuer and, without naming him, knocking his presumed stiffest competition, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. “The current leadership at the city attorney’s office has failed. It’s time for new blood and fresh ideas,” it says.

The mailer makes no criticism of Greg Smith but it shows that the Feuer campaign sees this as a tough race and wants to be sure that voters are clear about which Smith is which.

This is not the first time possible confusion over names has presented itself in an L.A. city attorney race. Four years ago, private lawyer Noel Weiss was on the same ballot as the presumed frontrunner, then-Councilman Jack Weiss. The councilman lost the general election to Trutanich, after the private attorney finished last in a field of five during the primary. Noel Weiss is back on the ballot this year.

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-- Jean Merl

 
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